My history is that i use fireworks and dreamweaver.
I am messing arround in after effects.
I would like to create similar objects like i can in fireworks only as 3d objects.
I am talking about creating shapes, extruding them into 3d space, applying styles and textures.
Only the result would be a 3d object that i could bring in to after effects where i can animate rotation and movement in 3d space or integrate it into an after effect project.
I assume that in after effects, i can create shadows from light sources so basically i want extruded text and shapes, perhaps with textures on them.
Maybe even with alpha transparency patterns painted onto their surfaces.
What about isllustrator? i have seen many cool 3d effects such as rotation and text extrusion.
Can these be exported as 3d objects that can be brought into after effects and placed in 3d space?
Or even photoshop? I think in photoshop, i can only use a small number of basic shapes.
You can import 3D models into After Effects if they are contained in a 3D object layer in a PSD file.
You can also use a third-party plug-in like Zaxwerks Invigorator to do exrtusions and sweeps. See this overview.
You can do some limited but very useful creation of 3D environments with Vanishing Point.
I want to second Todd's mention of Zaxwerks Invigorator. I have used it for years. A lot of third-party plug-ins simply do what you could do in AE with some time and cleverness, the Invigorator is one plug-in that does what cannot be done in AE, no matter how much time you have.